New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Lifestyle Block Animals) (Level 3)


Closed to new enrolments
This programme is delivered fully online. Watch our video to see what online study with Open Polytechnic is like.

Entry requirements

To gain entry into this qualification, you need to have the following:

  • Applicants must have NCEA Level 1 or equivalent
  • Applicants may be asked to provide a copy of their Criminal Convictions History to be reviewed and approved by their work placement. 
  • Applicants must provide evidence that they have a current Tetanus vaccination
  • Applicants planning to complete the Lifestyle Block Animal context must have access to lifestyle block animals on a lifestyle block, or similar location. This is required to ensure applicants can complete the practical work required, caring for a minimum of three lifestyle block animal species: dogs, birds/poultry, cattle, sheep or goats in a non-production context.

20 years old or over

If you are 20 and don’t hold the minimum entry requirements you will be eligible to be enrolled where your previous educational, work or life experience indicates you have a reasonable likelihood of success.


Work experience requirements

The programme includes a requirement for students to complete 70 hours in a practical placement. Practical work placement is included as a requirement for all courses. Students are required to have access to a lifestyle block (or blocks), or organisations that care for lifestyle block animals of sufficient size and range of activity to meet assessment requirements for evidence. Students can use their own lifestyle block.
If you do not have access to your own lifestyle block these are the other ways you can complete the practical work required:

  • Work/volunteer on someone else's lifestyle block,
  • Volunteer at a farm animal shelter or similar,
  • Work/volunteer with a business that helps lifestyle block owners look after their animals
  • Work/volunteer at a large animal veterinary practice
  • Farm placement
  • or similar

 This is a compulsory part of all the courses, as the activities give you context for your assessment. Students must be caring for at least three species of lifestyle block animals: dogs, birds/ poultry, cattle, sheep or goats in a non-production context. You will need to complete assessments, which include a minimum number of hours of workplace practice to show competency. 

If you're not using your own lifestyle block you will need to confirm your work placement:

  • You must have a workplace supervisor who can oversee and verify your work
  • You, your employed and the workplace verifier will need to complete an agreement as part of the enrolment form

You can access the Employer and Verifier Workplace Agreement forms below.  However, if you're not using your own lifestyle block you will also be asked to nominate your workplace supervisor during the online enrolment application process and they will be emailed their form automatically to complete. They will nominate your verifier and the verifier will be emailed their form automatically to complete.

Employer workplace agreement form

Verifier agreement form

If required you need to provide all documentation before we can finish processing your application.

 If you have any questions about these requirements you can email

English language requirements

Domestic students for whom English, Māori or New Zealand sign language is not their first language must also have an IELTS (General or Academic) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5.0, or equivalent.


International students and domestic students living overseas

This programme is not open to International students living overseas or in New Zealand, or New Zealand Domestic students living overseas. 

Computer and internet requirements

This programme is delivered online. To complete this programme you will need access to a laptop or desktop computer, reliable broadband internet connection and a data plan able to support online learning such as streaming of videos (including YouTube), downloading content, and writing and submitting online assessments. If you are unsure if your current computer or internet access allows you to complete your online learning with us, please contact us before applying to enrol.